Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

The last day of April and the showers are having a laugh as they are more like downpours.  Hubby has gone into the abyss this morning – or rather the Year 5 activity week in Kent where he has mud, zip wires, mud, archery, more mud, climbing, yet more mud and fun!  All with approximately 60 nine and ten year olds…eeekkkk!  There will even be a disco one night, so I hope he remembered to pack his sparkles.

MM 30th April

 

The main event of the week in our house has been the student engineer turning 22, although at times I wonder if it was 5.  His mood swings are off the scale at the moment and the lovely girl and I are counting down the days until his final exams are over – he is always a complete nightmare to live with during exam season!  But I don’t know where the time has gone but my little boy has grown into a young man about to enter the work force (hopefully with a top notch degree in Electronic Engineering) and a world where he speaks a different language to his parents (tech!!).

The lovely girl took her final art exam and passed with full marks.  Her work will have to be moderated, but unless the moderator looks at it with completely different ideas to her art teachers, she will have an A*.  She is so modest that she will hate me for even writing about it – I wish I could say she inherits her talent from her mother, but I’d be lying.  No, not from her father either before you ask!

 

Yours truly  has been fitting in a couple of book reviews and a trip to see the wonderful film Journey’s End around an ongoing migraine – you know the type that you think has gone and than a flicker of sunlight and bam, there it is again.  Several days on now and it has gone, but my head is still stuffed full of cottonwool and my tongue has been secretly pumped with fillers!  The film, adapted from the play by R.C.Sheriff an old boy of my school, is something that I would like to review as a separate piece for you, so watch this space!

Finally, May is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness month so I give you fair warning now that there will be a constant supply of zebra stripes on this blog.  Meanwhile I hope that you will find my selection of posts this week both enjoyable and useful.  There are pieces about tick bites and Lyme disease,  how to relax doing art, and getting a dog.  For ladies of a certain age Tasheenga brings us “That Bitch Big M” – seriously funny!!  There are also a couple of very inspirational posts from within the wonderful spoonie community!

So grab a coffee, turn off your phone and sit back to enjoy some great blog posts.

http://supermomhacks.com/stuff-i-love/protect-your-kids-from-tick-bites/

http://www.youcanalwaysstartnow.com/2018/04/23/painting-dot-mandalas/

https://tasheengawriteshere.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/that-bitch-big-m/

https://mydailyjournalonline.com/theres-lot-thankful-world/

https://www.unboundroots.com/earth-day-lesson/

https://imsickandsoareyou.com/2018/04/29/when-a-cat-person-gets-a-dog/

https://pseudomonaz.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/to-be-continued/

https://mashaellman.com/2018/04/27/take-time-to/

https://www.sicklessons.com/depressive-sleep-gift/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/04/be-proud-of-every-step-you-take/

As ever please share some love for these bloggers on your social media sites.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Vote for Hidden Stories in the People’s Projects lottery funding – bringing people together with hidden illness and disability #SundayBlogShare

I have shamelessly lifted this direct from the Root Experience website as they have contacted me to ask for help to vote for their Hidden Stories initiative to win funding via The People’s Projects for the UK lottery.  This is a vitally important service for people suffering with invisible illness/disabilities and as someone who lives with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and chronic pain every day, I am very happy to be an advocate for this project.

The voting closes on Monday 30th April at midday.  You will find links to vote below.

Please also have a look at the Root Experience website here and it would be fantastic if you would share this post on your social media,

Thanks, Claire x

hidden-stories

Hidden Stories is about helping people to share their experiences of what it’s like to live with an illness or condition that can’t be seen. It’s about replacing loneliness, fear and stigma with compassion, understanding and empowerment.

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HELP US SHARE MORE HIDDEN STORIES

Ninety per cent of people who relate to having a disability don’t have any visible symptoms, which often leads to misunderstanding, judgement and isolation. We want to shine a light on the wide range of emotional and physical struggles that are unseen in our communities, and encourage more compassion around them.

So we’re helping people with life-limiting ‘invisible’ conditions – from anxiety to autism, OCD to ME – share their experiences as part of an illustrated book designed to open up conversation and offer support.

With a People’s Projects grant, we’d be able to hold storytelling workshops and work with support groups in Worthing, Brighton, Southampton, Portsmouth, Chichester, Swindon, Oxford, Bournemouth, Crawley and Woking. Then after publishing our book, we’d distribute it for free on our Hidden Stories tour.

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THE HIDDEN STORIES BOOK: A MANUAL FOR CHANGE

Hidden Stories will enable people to learn about different conditions – and also seek support if they need it. Alongside personal accounts, there’ll be adaptable open letters which can be used to help explain conditions to family, friends and colleagues. The Hidden Stories book is only the beginning. We intend to build a ‘living library’ to help as many people as possible to tell their stories – because only by sharing our experiences can we begin to change how we see and behave toward one another.

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THE HIDDEN STORIES JOURNEY

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At the start of our journey, we helped people with ‘invisible’ illnesses tell their Hidden Stories through a series of creative groups resulting in an interactive exhibition at Brighton Dome. We used storytelling, visual arts and soundscapes to find different ways of exploring and expressing their conditions. This has already made a difference to the participants’ lives. It’s helping them to feel more visible and valued within their communities, and more empowered to talk about their experiences without fear of judgement.

Here are some comments about the exhibition at Brighton Dome, as well as snapshot of our creative groups…


THE HIDDEN STORIES BLOG


JOIN OUR SUPPORT GROUP

We’ve started an online Hidden Stories community for those living with or affected by invisible conditions and disabilities. As a closed Facebook group, it’s a safe place for sharing stories, asking questions, and for mutual support and solidarity – amongst  people who really know how you feel day to day.

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HELP US TO CONTINUE OUR WORK

Hidden Stories is an opportunity to talk about what’s unseen in our communities. Through our work we want to challenge perceptions, combat loneliness and invite people on a playful exploration of what it is to be human. Please vote for us to win a People’s Project grant, which would enable us to create our Hidden Stories book. You can also support our work ongoing with free donations every time you shop online – just sign up at our easyfundraising page. If you’d like to donate directly, please get in touch.

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Join our mailing list for updates on Hidden Stories and to get more involved in the project.

Illustrations copyright of Tinne Luyten

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford

Light House Keepers Blog Tour

I was fortunate to be given a copy of this book through Love Books and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review

Living in her aunt’s lighthouse at Beachy Head, recently separated Imogen is doing her best to carve out a new life as a writer.  Her teenage son is living with his father and displays indifference to her at every turn, her ex has a younger model and her aunt is in Jersey recuperating at her cousin’s home.  But how will a middle-aged woman, used to life in suburbia, cope living on a rural headland and perhaps most poignantly a mere stone’s throw from the lighthouse where her own father died in a tragic accident.  Aunt Dorothy has started to send Imogen pages, well excerpts really from her father’s diary, but she is being very mysterious as to why she won’t just send her the whole thing.

Imogen is struggling to find a plot for her novel and definitely does not want to go with her ex-husband Ewan’s idea to write about her own father.  It is whilst she is driving in Ewan’s old car that she inserts a CD and falls helplessly in love with a piece of flamenco guitar music.  She feels the “beautiful but unbearable melody” and as she stops the car to listen, wonders how she had not before “understood the anger in sadness”. So begins the second thread of the storyline as Imogen takes the bold step to contact the guitarist on Twitter, setting the wheels in motion for new friendships and relationships.

Imogen finds herself making a new best friend in Jules, who helps her to put some of the demons surrounding her parents’ marriage and then her father’s death to rest.  In return Imogen introduces Jules to the builder, Dylan, employed by her aunt to undertake an endless list of works at the lighthouse.  Meanwhile the tweets to and from Spain are growing as the guitarist Santiago explains that he needs an English teacher and perhaps Imogen can help him.  His music career is fading and his manager has encouraged him into acting.  Imogen finds herself drawn toward Santi and his close family more and more, as her novel starts to unfold and her imagination mixes fact and fiction.

Her Twitter friendship is unfolding alongside her reading and learning more of her father in his diary, even finding that he also had a penpal – of the more traditional variety!  The diary reveals secrets that make Imogen question everything about her past and throw caution to the wind with a visit to Madrid and a man who she only knows through “140 character” messages.

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PinLighthouse Keeper's Daughter

I would class this as a contemporary romance novel, but with a difference.  There are romance novels and films where it is too easy to unravel the whole plot in the first five minutes – too predictable and one dimensional.  This book is not like that and Cherry Radford has written enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.  The lighthouse storyline about her father lends some intrigue, whilst the Spanish storyline adds another whole dimension.  The characters are believable, and I think the fact that some are more likeable than others shows that they are well portrayed.  Imogen’s relationship with son Ollie had me laughing as it rang lots of bells, particularly as I have a teen Olly too and I really enjoyed the scenes of the blossoming relationship with new friend Jules.  I would definitely enjoy a night at the pub with these ladies (this was their first proper meeting place!) – they are chalk and cheese, but this just adds to the humour.

Using social media to set up a “friendship” is genius, resembling so much of life today, and the communication barriers down to language mistakes are at times hilarious.  There is a whole storyline describing Santi’s life and family in Madrid, which you must discover for yourself alongside Imogen…I don’t want to give anything away….but his early referrals to her as “the English woman” and how he views her as stereotypical English with her pale red hair and shy freckled body are very funny.  The characters in the book all grow, not necessarily in the ways that the reader expects or wants, but relationships develop and become clearer as the storyline unfolds.

There are some very atmospheric descriptions of both the south coast of England, particularly of the rain and mist sweeping in, and also of historic Madrid where Imogen gains inspiration for her own novel.

I really enjoyed Cherry Radford’s style of writing and will be returning for more of her novels.  I found this an easy going read – I actually read it within a couple of days – with a bit of history (the lighthouses), some intrigue, friendships, tears and love.  Plus lots of laughter – from me at least!

Five stars.

Available at Amazon here :

 

About the Author

81tEosh+iPL._UX250_Cherry Radford was a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet Junior School, a keyboard player in a band, and then a research optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London before suddenly writing her first novel in the middle of a scientific conference in 2009.  She now lives in Eastbourne and Almeria (Spain).

Her first 2 novels are available from Amazon and she is now thrilled to have signed with the wonderful Urbane Publications, who will publish The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter in Spring 2018.

Blog: Bla Bla Land

Twitter

Website

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It is time to share some more blog posts with you after a beautiful weekend here in the SE of the UK.  Hubby would probably moan as of course with a little bit of sunshine the garden begins to grow and he has had to mow the lawn…again!! The younger members of the PainPals house have been enjoying the sun and the Queen’s 92nd birthday in different ways.

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Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 23 April

The student engineer is edging closer and closer to the finishing line of his course, and one major piece to complete is the final year group project.  From the cursing coming from his room, I think that I can safely say that the quadcopter they have been re programming has not performed or given them the data that they hoped for.  Whilst our student engineer is happy to write up a detailed report (how detailed – remember his middle name is lastminute.com!) explaining why the flying machine failed to perform, the other student engineers keep appearing on our doorstep from London wanting to try something new.  He is not impressed – but the beautiful park that is on our doorstep played host to these young engineers playing in the sun on Saturday – time that could have been spent revising for final exams, I am told!!

The politics student disappeared up to London on Friday and told me he was off to Hyde Park.  Naive mum here didn’t realise that there was a big gathering including lots of students in Hyde Park called 420 Day – Support for Cannabis  – “but you talk about use of medical marijuana for chronic pain & MS, Mum!!”.  I am told that his friends were playing football and sunbathing, and that “there were loads of people and no trouble”. He has returned to uni today with a slightly pinker neck and lots of reminders about what might happen if he mixes his migraine and anxiety drugs with other substances, including alcohol!!

Finally the lovely girl is busy preparing for her art exam tomorrow – panic has set in over the weekend and she is working on her final sketchbook, the glue gun is working in overdrive and various household items are being smashed to add to her final piece!  A trip to the local part also helped with some more photographs to add to the Fragments theme, which she is has interpreted as mould and decay…..hmmm, attractive.  Actually the trial pieces she has prepared look pretty good….but I will be happy to get my lounge back!

Yours truly actually managed a night out, having had a light induced migraine since Friday.  I went with my mum to see the wonderful “Remembering Fred” starring Jeanette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.  Lovely night which I will write about again – but I actually felt like me!  I put on clothes that due to drug induced weight gain I hadn’t worn for a while, I put on some slap, looked in the mirror…and there I was! The person that I remember, not the pasty worn out trout I have become used to seeing.  Eldest son commented after I had used the lovely girl’s concealer under my eyes that I did look different – “I’m used to seeing you look really tired!” – not you look nice, Mum!  But with a bit of concealer and a slash of red lippie, you would never have known just how anaemic I am or that the weight loss probably hasn’t been for particularly healthy reasons (gastroparesis & gut problems).

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Girls’ Night Out!

On to the matter in hand and sharing some fab blog posts that I have read this week.  From a yoga class with a resilience theme to a beautiful poem to some useful blogging lessons, there is a huge variety.  I must issue a mascara warning with both Sheryl from A Chronic Voice’s post and Brutal Honesty Blogger’s post about remembering family.  Time to make that cuppa, put the phone on silent, sit back and enjoy!

https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/appreciating-uncertainty/

https://bysarahwhiley.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/nothin-but-tracks/

http://www.healthyeatingexperts.com/i-tried-a-3-day-detox-for-the-first-time-heres-what-happened/

https://kellyontherun.com/2018/04/20/helpful-hints-for-the-newly-diagnosed/

https://www.chronicmom.com/2018/04/people-in-pain-want-alternatives-to-opioids.html/

https://www.beecontentyoga.com/february-class-theme-resilience/

https://whoamumma.com.au/2018/04/19/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-chronic-pain-sufferer/

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2018/04/15/death-broken-heart/

https://blondewritemore.com/2018/04/22/what-my-blogging-break-taught-me-sundayblogshare-bloggers-blogs/

https://brutalhonestyblogger.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/remembering-family-23-4-18/

Please share posts, leave comments and show some appreciation for great bloggers!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Into the Spotlight – Celebrating Equality and Diversity

Several weeks ago the lovely Angela on You Are Awesome blog wrote about finding herself in the spotlight unexpectedly and how it affected her.  Now granted she was propelled into blog superstardom with her “Discovery” and my experience that I mentioned to her was on a somewhat different scale, but it did literally involve a spotlight!

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Celebrating Equality & Diversity

 

This year we celebrate the centenary of the first British women getting the vote and my old school celebrates 40 years of co-education – what better theme could there be for a Commemoration Service?  Now who would be a “suitable” person to ask to speak to the current pupils?  Someone currently heavily involved in, or even Chair of the alumni association, and also one of the very first girls to start at the school?  Sounds perfect…except that would be me!! The first girls started in the sixth form in 1978, whilst we “little” girls started in 1979 – all eight of us….Judith, Justine, Joanna, Sandra, Heather, Rosalind, Justine (yes another one) and me, Claire.  My brief from the deputy head was to share some memories with the pupils – how hard could this be?

My first point of call had to be some of my previous partners in crime and I set up a Facebook chat with about 15 ladies who had been amongst the original girls in the first couple of years.  Wow!  We were all transported back and the memories & stories flooded out.  Where has the time gone and where did those little girls go?  I must say that it has been fantastic to rekindle old friendships – even if an awful lot of the memories were definitely not suitable to share!!!  It is really important with certain aspects of my connective tissue disorder – the fainting! – that I don’t allow myself to become too stressed, so I took a leaf out of my adult kids’ books and did a last minute.com with my speech.  “I only need to write a few notes” I assured hubby when he reminded me that the service was to take place in the town’s theatre.

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First Day at School – they no longer wear that blazer!

We arrived the next morning with instructions to go to the stage door in order to both accommodate my wheelchair and for a sound check.  Excuse me? Sound check?  This was starting to sound a little different to the services of my day!  I was shown where I would be speaking from – that is a lectern at the front of the stage, you know the one where the actors normally do their thing – the heights of the microphone were checked – I wanted to stand, but what I want and what my body does can change in a second – and then hubby and I were shown our seats in the stalls.  We would need to unobtrusively find our way to the stage at a particular place in the programme – hang on, is that me down as the final, summing up speech?  Coffee was called for.

We took our seats but not before I had a quick glimpse around the theatre and realised that it was crammed with teens reaching far into the gods.  How on earth had I originally thought that I was only speaking to a few students?  The headmaster took to the stage alongside the head boy and girl and they spoke of equality and diversity – the suffrage movement, the recent #MeToo movement and a changing tide in Hollywood, the Black Panther film, the gender pay gap, equality & diversity within the school’s own history – and I nudged hubby and murmured “I think I might have got the pitch wrong!”.

I snuck out – those of you who know me will laugh at this – with stick in hand and clutching hubby as we negotiated the stairs to the stage whilst being serenaded by a band singing Pink Floyd.  Yes, Pink Floyd!  I am sure that we only sang very traditional and, to our teen minds, boring hymns at Commemoration Day.  Now it was time for me to be quite literally be thrust into the spotlight and whilst I was wheeled on to the stage, I was determined to stand.  The thing I had not anticipated was just how bright that light was and how blinded I would feel – I wasn’t nervous when I went on, but the funny thing was that not being able to see the reaction of my audience was actually more unnerving that being greeted by a sea of eyes.  But I was able to use my own situation to perfectly continue the themes – a disabled woman speaking about literally growing up in a boys’ world.

Hazel & Me

St Trinian’s party (late 80s) – knew those blazers would eventually come in useful!

I think it went well.  I spoke for considerably longer than I had anticipated and with some squinting was able to make eye contact with those in the stalls.  Memories were shared, from starting at the school as a 10-year-old – what were our parents thinking? – to learning to cope with the attitudes of certain staff members, to being given opportunities to row, join the cadet force and have high expectations of ourselves.  As I said above there were many stories that I couldn’t share – the elderly teacher who wore his PJs under his suit and threw the blackboard rubber at anyone he disliked; the ex para in charge of the cadet force who lost his temper in a geography lesson and jumped up and down on one boy’s back; the student teacher nicknamed mogul and taunted throughout the school; the masked raid on the tuckshop by pupils; the stealing of railway detonators which were thrown from train windows on a certain popular commuter line by pupils – the police came in to the school and we were quizzed.  But I could tell them about Heather being the first girl to row at the National Rowing championships and that she wasn’t allowed to camp with the boys –  instaed she stayed in a B&B with one of the male teachers.  Separate rooms – but can you imagine that today??  They heard about our lack of toilets and changing rooms, about being told when we got questions correct that we were now “honorary chaps” and that “those were the days when men were men and women were proud of it”.  We were called by our surnames – one of the girls shared a common surname with one of the boys in her class.  A particular teacher referred to them as Evans the superior and Evans the inferior – guess  who was who?  The gasp that went up from my audience with this story was huge – unimaginable action from a teacher to the pupils of today, but a story used to good effect by the girl involved when she has given sexual equality talks over the years.

I did share the story of the school hall being torched by a disgruntled ex pupil as it made the local paper as an Arson headline, and the prank with the dead cat being nailed on the back of the head’s study door.  arson.jpgBut I made them promise not to do anything similar!  I hope that today’s pupils saw that whilst at times our early education was unconventional and certainly marred with sexism, it set us up for a world in which we would be able to fight our corner and where we shouldn’t let others put us down.  This was just the norm for us – and I don’t believe that many of these old school masters thought they were being sexist or misogynistic (in fact would be genuinely upset to read these words associated with them), but actually didn’t know how to approach girls.  Of course we did play on this at times – the periods that lasted all month in order to avoid games or certain lessons, awkward questions in biology lessons – the boys did a pretty good job here too!

One girl said that she went into accountancy because she thought it was the type of career “expected” of her.  There were jobs that were considered “unsuitable” and I actually think that becoming a nurse rather than a doctor, as I did, was one of them.  I told the pupils that one of the original eight left to become a dancer and she high kicked her way across Europe, finishing as a dancer on the Moulin Rouge.  This would have had some of our masters turning in their graves – but it was what she wanted to do.  She is now a clinical psychologist!  Words that came up continually from the group chat were “strength of character” and for many of us we did develop an inner strength that would go on to serve us well in future male dominated environments.  For me that would be holding my own as a “mere” nurse in the then still male dominated world of doctors in the London teaching hospitals .  But of course this wasn’t the case for all the girls and some found the testerone fuelled school difficult to navigate.

Above all I hope that my moment in the spotlight showed a younger generation a slightly lighter, but nonetheless very sincere glimpse at changes in equality and diversity in very recent times.  For me….well I was back in my wheels in the foyer as the youngsters started to leave and I was given lots of thanks, a few of the older pupils and the staff said they would be talking about my stories for months and we were then invited for a drink with the head and other VIPs!  Would the head ever speak to me again, let alone allow me back in to the school – he said he was wondering where a couple of stories were headed and will hold me personally responsible for any cats on the school premises!!  Several of the sixth form girls said that they couldn’t believe what we girls had gone through – although to us it was just school! We knew no different.

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My official photo announcing me as Chair

The spotlight effect that Angela spoke of in her piece was different for me.  I am proud to have stood up (literally, as was hubby who was offstage with the wheelchair just in case) putting my disability on show, to be the first girl to have gone through the school and to have represented us “trailblazers”, and to now being a female Chair of the alumni – but also to have also done myself proud, overcoming some the demons  that recent years have dealt out. The applause when I finished was lovely, but it could have been that the kids were just happy that I had finally shut up!!

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Book Review: Restitution(#Crazy Amy 3) by Rose Edmunds

I was fortunate to be given a copy of this book by the author and through The Book Club on Facebook in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Pin Restitution review

 

After leaving her job as a top city, high earning accountant, Amy fancies herself as a private eye, a super sleuth, and she has taken a job that will immerse her in history across Europe.  Hired by 84-year-old George Smithies, she finds herself tracking down art work that was confiscated by Nazi Germany and may or may not have been part of a haul found in the flat of an eccentric hoarder, Novak, in Prague.  Amy and George set out for Prague to battle through the Czech restitution law and in the process meet Amy’s old “friend” Mel and “art historian” Beresford, who is keen to help track down the missing painting thought to have been owned by George’s parents in the 1930s.

 

During their journey, the Czech law isn’t the only maze to unravel as Amy establishes family ties between her client and the hoarder Novak, flaws in the history of the business partnership of George’s father, and an interest in her investigation from an unknown third party which puts Amy and George in real danger. No one is quite who or what they claim to be and with her own troubled background, and her dependence on alcohol, Amy is not always best placed to play super sleuth!

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This is the third in the Crazy Amy series and I have to admit to not having read the first two – or even realising that there were two others!  It can be read as a stand-alone, but I think that I would recommend reading from the beginning as Amy’s personal dysfunctional history and her relationships with Mel and George have already been established and there are references that I didn’t get!  But I really took to Amy.  She has so many imperfections, a massive chip on her shoulder, an alcohol problem and an alter ego called Little Amy (who I didn’t understand at first having not read the other books)….but she is so real.  I love the humour that Rose Edmunds has infused into the writing of this character!  She constantly describes the extra weight she has gained round her middle (so many women relate to this!) and Amy refuses to acknowledge her alcohol problem, deeming the staff at the infamous Priory to be “idiots” for suggesting it. She builds up a relationship with both the smelly hoarder Novak, who says “I admire a woman who can drink”, and the aristocratic Rudolf Strnad.  She has a love/hate relationship with Mel.  The bitchy description by Amy of eating a slap-up meal in front of the newly skinny Mel as she “turns over a couple of lettuce leaves” is hilarious.  Amy’s flaws should make her the worst candidate as a private investigator, but she is a clever young lady who proves to be surprisingly good at solving problems.

 

The historical information in this novel has been well researched, drawing upon the real art haul found in 2010 in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of an art dealer known to have dealings with the Nazis during the second world war.  I enjoyed the pace of the story which was fast, yet also mindful of having an elderly man as one of the main characters.  The network of deceit and corruption took the tale through Europe and back to the UK, showing the extent of the spread of the international underworld.  Ms Edmunds painted a vivid picture of historic Europe, alongside the contemporary world of sleek lines and minimalism – for instance Amy’s flat and the offices in London.

 

I always say it, but I don’t wish to give away any spoilers….so I will conclude that this is a really enjoyable, pacy thriller with some fantastic main characters, humour, danger and cunning.  Definitely worth a read – although I would personally read the first two books for a proper background!  4 stars!

By the way…I do now have #Crazy Amy 1 & 2!

Books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Published 19th March 2018

About the Author – Rose Edmunds (from author website)

Rose EdmundsAfter a successful career advising entrepreneurial businesses, Rose jumped off the corporate hamster wheel and began writing thrillers inspired by her experiences. Her books have a strong ethical theme, and shine a light on the moral challenges presented by capitalism. Typically her protagonists are just as flawed as the villains, if not more so…

Rose’s debut thriller, Never Say Sorry, was about a Big Pharma conspiracy to suppress a cancer cure. Since then, she has been working on the Crazy Amy thriller series—an ambitious project which will follow Amy Robinson on her journey from senior finance executive to who knows where…

The first trilogy is now available on Amazon, with further books planned for 2019 and beyond.

 

“Coming to Terms with a Stoma” – shared by Caz, Invisibly Me Blog

This is a very open and honest post that Caz from Invisibly Me blog has shared with Talk Health Partnership Blog – she really inspires me and I hope that you feel the same.  Even if you aren’t one of the chronic illness community, please read this amazing young lady’s story!

Caz

Image from Invisibly Me blog

“Some people get a day. Some may get a week, a month, a year. Others may get no warning, simply waking up with a new life.

From IBD and cancer, to colonic inertia, pelvic floor dysfunction and bowel trauma, stoma surgery is undertaken for various reasons. It may be temporary, with the hopes of being reversed at a later date, or it may be permanent.

One thing remains constant: having a stoma is a big deal, though the experience of life with a stoma is as different as every individual is unique.

Pre-Op : Ignorance Is Bliss?

Although I had forewarning and agreed to the surgery, even as I was being rolled in to the operating room my brain hadn’t quite absorbed what was happening. I talked to my parents about it as though it were a clinical rather than personal issue, as though it were happening to someone else. While my parents were upset, I was busy preparing for surgery and focusing on the practical things I could do. It was my third operation but it didn’t feel any easier to get my head around.

In some ways, there was an element of ‘ignorance is bliss’. I didn’t want to know too much; just enough to prepare myself, not too much to scare myself.”

Please continue reading the full article here

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Today it is a beautiful day, the sun is shining and apparently we are about to have a warm snap in the UK.  Just as the kids all go back to school – typical!  We still have a house full here and the mound of shoes grows daily inside the front door.  Our local park has turned into a swamp over Easter and several pairs of these shoes, including my DM boots borrowed by the lovely girl, are thick in mud.  Shoes.JPGI wonder how long they will sit there for?  The housework fairies don’t function so well in this house these days!

Tulips

 

Revision time, or maybe I should say panic time, is reaching fever pitch here and the art work for the final exam piece is being practiced on every available surface…..using a mixture of paint, plaster, polyfilla, wood.  Watch this space for the outcome! The eldest and youngest visited their grandparents for a few days giving us some respite from the folders and books!

One of the blogs I have picked is The Unofficial A – Z of Babies, and it struck me this week that we have come full circle with the politics student.  When he was a baby I remember well the nights being woken for feeds….what I didn’t expect was the nights being woken at 4.30am to recur 19 years later!  This time the waking is done by a front door slamming so loudly that we could hear it shake in the frame….in the way that someone who is drunk tries so carefully to be quiet and careful, but just makes it all ten times worse.  Let’s just say he was unable to do his sister’s paper round for her that morning…..

Onto our blogs – it is World Craft Week this week, so I have shared the link to the Conscious Crafties site, where those with chronic illness or caring for a loved one can show you their handmade crafts and designs.  There is a story feature, a book review and easing chronic pain with pole dancing!!  So time to sit back with your coffee and enjoy so fantastic blog posts….

https://www.consciouscrafties.com/sell/join-the-crafties/

http://www.jottojot.com/the-unofficial-a-z-of-babies/

https://bysarahwhiley.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/the-dance-lessons/

https://ingawellbeing.com/pole-dancing-to-pampering-can-help-ease-chronic-pain/

http://notjusttired.com/2018/04/13/new-blog-feature-interviews-with-people-living-with-me-cfs/

https://allabouthealthychoices.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/solutions-are-they-subconsciously-part-of-the-problem/

http://chronicallyhopeful.com/update-a-season-of-anticipation-and-new-beginnings/

https://simplychronicallyill.com/2018/04/15/the-stupidest-advice-people-have-given-me/

https://littlemissnosleep.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/bookreview-5-stars-i-still-dream-by-james-smythe-jpsmythe-boroughpress-istilldream-sciencefiction-fiction-book-review/

https://thepbsblog.com/2018/04/15/author-spotlight-yecheilyahs-2nd-annual-poetry-contest-sponsor-tinzley-bradford/

Please remember to share some love and pass on links to posts, like and comment!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Tulips.JPG

A Park Visit – Daily Prompt : Glimmer

Someone opened the door today

And out I went into the world.

The sky was grey and the earth was wet

A chill in the air permeated my bones.

Nerves and joints hurt so bad

The titanium inside felt icy cold,

Pains misfiring and doing battle

With the pulses of current sent

To stop them in their tracks

From the electrode sleeping

Against my spinal cord.

Someone fought the cold todaySONY DSC

As the park cafe beckoned,

A small alcove housed my wheels

And provided shelter.

Whilst an external heater,

At the lightest touch of a switch,

Spilt a glimmer of light and warmth

To wrestle with the cold world.

 

Daily Prompt – Glimmer